• Rachel Masson

Update from SWOSU Rodeo

Updated: Mar 17

Head Coach Mike Visneiski

By Rachel Masson

Sports Reporter

This spring semester has been packed full of at least one SWOSU sports team competing every week. One sport that recently began competition is the men’s and women's rodeo teams.

Like most other teams, the rodeo teams have a shortened season, with only having nine rodeos, rather than 11. However, the shortened season isn’t stopping head coach Mike Visnieski and the team from losing focus.

“We were, of course, disappointed because we wanted to go play,” Visnieski said. “But it is what it is, and we really focus on getting better. We really got to develop our team and our team dynamics. So, we just kind of shifted our focus into different goals as usual. We had a really great time last semester, so my feelings about not having a fall season aren’t completely negative just because we got to actually do some other things that meant something. We were absolutely thankful to be able to do anything, so it was sure a blessing just to be able to get together and work on stuff.”

In past years, the rodeo team would have rodeo competitions starting in the fall about a week apart from each other, with a break in competition over winter break, and then continue again in the spring. However, the rodeo teams do not get a break in competition this season. The men’s and women’s rodeo teams have four rodeos in March, and five in April, with all rodeos being back-to-back weeks.

Since the teams have a shortened season, that means Visnieski will have less competition time with his seniors. Although, having a shortened competition season won’t stop them from giving it their all.

“We didn’t really have a whole lot of time to prepare, but they’re practicing rain, sleet, or shine. It doesn’t matter, they can do something every day,” Visnieski said. “They’re working hard, having good attitudes.”

With every athlete on the roster giving it their all, it helps the team achieve personal, as well as team goals. One of those team goals is to be the best that they can be.

“Our goals for this season are just to be at our best potential every single rodeo and to consistently improve,” Visnieski said. “You know, we want to win the national title, we want to win the region, of course. But really, our focus to get that end result, we got to really refine our process and focus day by day. So, our goals are daily; improve, work on what we need to, and evaluate our performance and our practices properly so we can come out the next day and do what we need to do to get better.”

The men’s and women's rodeo teams had their first competition on March 2-3 at Northwestern Oklahoma State where the men took home second place out of nine schools, and the women took home fourth out of seven schools.

The men’s and women's rodeo teams will compete next on March 12-14 in Fort Scott, Kansas at Fort Scott Community College.

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